Questions tagged [sputnik]

The Sputnik series of spacecraft achieved several firsts in the late 1950s, most notably Sputnik 1, which was the first artificial earth satellite.

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Sputnik I and Gagarin's space flight

The US was completely surprised by Sputnik (I) and also by Yuri Gagarin's space flight. Was the USSR equally surprised by the success of Apollo 11? If not, were they expecting/wishing any failure of ...
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How did Sputnik 1's antennas couple to its body, electrically and mechanically?

Looking at https://www.britannica.com/technology/satellite-communication/Development-of-satellite-communication I found the image of a model of Sputnik 1 below. It shows details of its four rod ...
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What was the first Soviet spacecraft that could recharge its battery it each orbit? Where were the photovoltaic cells made?

Sputnik 1 (/ˈspʌtnɪk, ˈspʊtnɪk/; "Satellite-1", or "PS-1", Простейший Спутник-1 or Prosteyshiy Sputnik-1, "Elementary Satellite 1") was the first artificial Earth ...
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Did Sputnik 1 tell us more than "beep"? What science was improved by information gained from its orbiting the Earth?

Sputnik 1 was the first artificial satellite launched by humans to orbit the Earth. This answer begins: Sputnik had just one single job: Prove its existence by sending a simple "beep" ...
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Sputnik, Van Allen belts

Van Allen belts were discovered/confirmed by the satellite "Explorer", which was launched after Sputnik. If so, was Russia aware of VA radiation belts when they launched Sputnik? If not, how ...
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How long was Sputnik 1's second stage rocket body in orbit? Are there TLEs for it?

Early artificial satellites were tracked by radio and visually by amateurs, scientists and military personnel for various reasons including fun and improving the understanding of orbital dynamics ...
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Could Laika have survived the Van Allen radiation during the intended duration of her mission?

Laika the dog was the first animal in space, aboard Sputnik 2. According to this answer, her mission was intended for 10 days, but Laika survived only 2 days due to the spacecraft overheating. ...
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Did Sputnik 2 signals received in Australia eventually confirm the Van Allen belts?

According to Wikipedia, there was a missed opportunity to discover the Van Allen radiation belts during Sputnik 2: In Australia, Professor Harry Messel intercepted the signals. Other stations in ...
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Why did Sputnik-1 transmit on both 20 and 40 MHz?

Wikipedia's Sputnik 1 and this answer to Why did Sputnik 1 have four antennas? say that Sputnik transmitted at both 20 and 40 MHz. Why two different frequencies? Why so far apart? It's worth noting ...
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What did Sputnik-1 sound like? Did it use multiple tones?

Radio transmissions from Sputnik-1 could be heard on short wave radios around the world. Questions: A carrier signal only would not be particularly audible to an AM radio listener, was it modulated ...
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Where are remains of laika?

I have already tried searching about laika But one thing i am not able to find What about remains of famous space dog laika? where are her remains? In space or fell back to earth?
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What "fuel more powerful than anything the West (had) in stock" put Laika in orbit aboard Sputnik 2?

The BBC World Service Radio Witness History podcast Laika, the first dog in space contains a short audio clips from some vintage 1950's British news. At 02:30 in a ...
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How did Russian Scientist analyse the data from Sputnik 1?

I could not find any information about the process of extracting and interpreting data from Sputnik 1, or the involvement of computers in the data analysis of that information. Does anyone have info ...
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What was the cause of the cooling system issue in Sputnik 2?

I've heard that there was a problem in the cooling system on sputnik 2. But, was it an engineering error? Obviously a dog cannot survive such harsh conditions. Did the engineering team overlook this ...
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Why were the Sputniks launched to such high apogee?

Sputnik I was launched to reach as high as 939 km above the sea level and made 1440 orbits. Vostok I with Gagarin aboard was launched to 327 km for one orbit. Wouldn't 200 km or even less be enough to ...
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Are there any events planned to celebrate Sputnik's 60th anniversary today?

April 12 has Yuri's Night to commemorate Yuri Gagarin's first orbital flight by a human. The launch of Sputnik 1, the first satellite humanity put into orbit, on 4 October 1957 at 10:58pm Moscow time ...
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Did Sputnik 1 have attitude control?

The (currently only) answer to Why did Sputnik 1 have four antennas? discusses how Sputnik 1 had four antennas in order to ensure that the Earth would never be in the null of any of its antennas. ...
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Why did Sputnik 1 have four antennas?

Sputnik was only launched a few hundred kilometers above Earth, and transmitted only a simple beeping signal. What was the purpose of having four antennas? Wouldn't one be powerful enough?
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What scientific and technological advances were prompted directly by Sputnik 1?

It's easy to say in retrospect that the USSR's Sputnik 1 was just a dumb radio transmitter that didn't actually do anything useful. However, it also stands to reason that putting that same "dumb ...
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Why were early Soviet spacecraft spherical?

Sputnik's ball shape is instantly recognizable to most of us: I was looking at the Wikipedia page for Luna 1, and saw it was also a ball-shaped spacecraft: Why do these spacecraft have a spherical ...
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Sputnik: What took so long?

After WWII, both the US and USSR began developing their early rockets based on the German V-2 work. USSR flew their R-1 copy of the V2 in 1948; the US flew Corporal in 1947. It wasn't until 1957 ...
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What is different from the R-7 that launched Sputnik, to the Soyuz launcher used for Soyuz/Progress launches?

One of the very interesting things about the Soviet (and now Russian) space program is how some things seem almost eternal. The first Sputnik launch was on an R-7 ICBM, modified for space launch. If ...
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Is there any footage of the rocket that launched Sputnik 1?

I am wondering if there is any visual documentation of the Sputnik launcher and/or launch, either video or photographs.
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